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Album Reviews

Album Review: COPE – The Shock Doctrine

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Release date: May 22 2020

Label: Self Released

For Fans Of: Stick To Your Guns / Terror / Lionheart

Bursting on to the scene voicing their rage about the crumbling state of the world are London hardcore outfit COPE . Fitting nicely into the modern hardcore niché this album certainly does what you would expect, utilising a nice blend of hard vocals along with singing backup from bassist Jason Heightman accompanying sharp, hard-hitting punchy riffs and breakdowns, it gets its message across.

From the off, it’s clear to see that COPE aren’t here to beat about, conveying that important social message through the use of  gritty thrash tones and high tempo drumming to match, a reflection of the urgency needed at this time. Incorporating this well tried and tested formula for their music ensures that it will grab the attention of the listener and engage them with their message. 

A shining example of this is the second track ‘I’m Alright, Jack’ which deals with those at the top who have left the rest of us behind and have no sense of regard for that fact. The punchy nature of the album backs the fact that action must be taken quickly in order to prevent such issues going past the point where they can no longer be remedied. Fifth track ‘Empire’ deals with this issue in more depth: ‘Empires aren’t built by cynics; Look around, we’re living in it’ which is a clear plea to the listener that terrible things are happening around us and to us right now, expressing the desperate nature of the situation that we find ourselves in.

A well set album with a strong message behind it, COPE have aimed to use The Shock Doctrine to cover a whole breadth of social issues and get the listener up and ready to stand for themselves. Songs such as ‘Gold’ and ‘Damned If We Don’t’, although four tracks apart, intertwine nicely with the former painting the current picture and and latter giving a very real foresight into what the consequences of today may well be. ‘Gold’ deals with the way in which we, as a society, have become engulfed in gluttonous consumerism and how its getting to the point that we are “too corrupt to break the mould.” ‘Gold’ really lays it on the line and explicitly states that this has all gone too far and has us at breaking point. ‘Damned If We Don’t’ furthers this point: “Onwards ticks the doomsday clock,” going on to assert that “a road to ruin is what we’re paving,” making these tracks a perfect demonstration of the message that COPE are trying to get across to their listeners here.

The formula for The Shock Doctrine is effective. This album really strives to highlight a wide range of issues regarding the state of the world today. COPE have managed to do just that with this very strong, forward debut effort.

The Shock Doctrine is out now via independent release.

Rating: 7/10

Recommended tracks: Life In 3D, Empire, Damned If We Don’t

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COPE are: Tom Walker, Jason Heightman, Josh Bowles, Jay Miller and Soloman Rudley. (Ed Thompson contributed to guitars in the studio)

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